13.04.2011 09.Nisan, 5771
The column that brings you food festivals from around the world; discover how the Japanese celebrate the cherry blossoms with a family picnic.
In Japan, the arrival of Spring is announced by the cherry blossoms which blanket the parks and hillsides in a froth of pink, white and lilac. As the season approaches, the Japanese avidly study the cherry blossom forecast which predicts when the blossoms will be in bloom in different parts of the country. This way they can plan the ideal date for their hanami, the annual picnics that take place under the cherry blossom trees. It is a time that for sharing food, fun and often copious amounts of beer and sake with friends, family and coworkers.
Right now, Japan is in mourning which casts a definite shadow over what is normally a joyous time of year. Signs have been posted in many parks around the country, asking people to not indulge in the annual hanami festivities out of respect for the recent tragedies.The sentiment was depicted perfectly by Christoph Niemann's March 28th cover of The New Yorker magazine. The illustration is called “Dark Spring” and features cherry blossoms set against black background….